Department News and Updates - 07/23/2021

  • Amy McLean lead the first session of Pre-College Equine Science 101 at the end of June through the first week of July. Honors high school students from across the country attended a two week on line course focused on equine science and equine opportunities at UC Davis to encourage applying to UCD and Animal Science. The second remote session will be taught from the end of July through the first of August. This is the third year the program has been offered.
  • Amy McLean also taught equine science and behavior on the Annual UCD Continuing and Professional Education Mustang Pack trip and Backcountry Vet Care and Horsemanship course.
  • Tina Horback gave a tour of the UC Davis Swine Facility for the Animal Care Program Members of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to educate the team on sow housing and welfare assessment as required by Proposition 12 (going into effect Jan 1, 2022).
  • Kaleiah Schiller (PhD, ABGG) finished field data collection of ewe maternal behavior with Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor [Placer-Nevada counties] Dan Macon (picture below)
  • Maggie Creamer (PhD, ANB GG) lived in the dorms of SFREC while collecting behavioral data and monitoring GPS collar integrity for 50 cows grazing on Koch pasture (picture below).
  • Francine Bradley was interviewed by the New York Times on the proposed peafowl ordinance in LA County ( Dr. Bradley also gave an on-air interview to Russian International Television on feral peafowl in urban environments.
  • At the 54th International Society of Applied Ethology Congress (August 2021), Catie McVey (PhD, ABGG) and Tina Horback presented “Livestock Informatics Toolkit: Data science tools for characterizing complex behavioral patterns across multiple sensor platforms” while Claire Jones (MS, ABGG) and Tina Horback presented “Effect of rearing environment on the development of spatial cognition in egg-laying hens.”
  • Ermias Kebreab gave an invited presentation on “Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies” at the American Society of Animal Science.
  • Deanne Meyer and colleagues at UC-ANR and the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program were awarded an Award of Excellence from the Western Extension Directors Association. Congratulations Deanne! (See the picture below)
  • The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Alison Van Eenennaam the BIF Pioneer Award June 24 during its annual research symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska–Lincoln professor and extension beef genetics specialist, presented the award. Congratulations Alison!
  • The Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.
  • Video available here
  • Maci Mueller, Davis, California, was presented the Baker/Cundiff Award June 24 during the BIF Symposium. 
  • The annual Frank Baker/Larry Cundiff Beef Improvement Essay Contest for graduate students provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding student research and competitive writing in honor of Frank Baker and Larry Cundiff. Mueller is working on her doctorate at the University of California-Davis. Her essay was titled “Gene editing as a Tool for Genetic Improvement of Beef Cattle.” Congratulations Maci!
  • Monika Hejna (visiting student), Lauren Kovanda (graduate student) and Yanhong published ‘Mint oils: In vitro ability to perform anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities and to enhance intestinal barrier integrity.’ In Antioxidants. 10:1004-1018. Open access
  • Kwangwook Kim (graduate student), Yijie He (graduate student), Cynthia Jinno (graduate student), Lauren Kovanda (graduate student) and Yanhong Liu published Trace amounts of antibiotics exacerbated diarrhea and systemic inflammation of weaned pigs infected with a pathogenic E. coli.’ In Journal of Animal Science. 
  • Trish Berger and colleagues recently published two papers: “Aromatase and the three little paralogs” ( and “Genomic structure of the porcine CYP19 locus and expression of the CYP19A3 paralog” (
  • Amy McLean and colleagues published “Selenium and vitamin E concentrations in Miranda jennies and foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal.
  • Clarivate Altmetrics just released the most cited articles in the popular press from the Journal of Animal Science and the work of two of our faculty were in the top 5. Alison Van Eenennaam and Amy Young’s paper “Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations” ( from 2014 is ranked #1 and Jim Oltjen’s paper “Estimation of the water requirement for beef production in the United States” from 1993 is ranked #4.(
  • Ryan Bourbour, Breanna Martinico, and others published "Foraging and nesting ecology of the Stygian Owl (Asio stygius robustus) in the Mountain Pine Ridge region of Belize" in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. DOI:
Sheep for ewe maternal behavior study


Cows on Koch pasture


Award of Excellence from WEDA


Matt Spangler and Alison Van Eenennaam


Maci Mueller receiving award